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Redbox Instant app coming to Roku players this summer (Original)

Redbox Instant recently launched on the Google TV platform and today it's officially announcing plans for a Roku channel. Despite its absence from the original list of devices, Redbox mentioned at Google I/O support for the Roku platform would likely be in the cards. Similar to the Google TV launch (and the recent Hulu Plus update) the app won't work on first gen Roku hardware, but once it's available will bring its unique package of subscription streaming / VOD / kiosk DVD & Blu-ray access to the hockey puck streamers. Still, the reports we've heard from early users are mostly mentioning the need for more subscription streaming content, but getting within shouting distance of the likes of Netflix and Amazon won't be easy.

Filed under: Home Entertainment, HD

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Source: Roku Blog, Redbox Instant (Twitter)

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Roku Wants To Be Part Of Your Next Smart TV, Raises $60 Million To Do It (Original)

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These days, just about any cheapo Blu-ray player or game console can stream video from Netflix or Hulu, so what’s a company that makes a slew of low-cost video streaming boxes to do to stand out from the pack? Well, if you’re Roku, the answer is you raise a ton of money and set your sights on software too.

AllThingsD reports that Roku has just raised another $60 million in funding in a round led by Fidelity, and ATD’s Peter Kafka goes on to note that Roku is looking to use that infusion of capital to bolster its software partnerships with television manufacturers.

In addition to pushing out cutesy streaming video boxes, Roku wants its software to be baked directly into a new generation of smart televisions — an especially savvy move given just how ferociously players like Microsoft are attempting to take over people’s living rooms. After all, the promise of streaming content from services like Netflix, Hulu, and Crackle is one that’s been fulfilled nearly every major game console, not to mention by number of Roku’s rivals. A cheap streamer box like the ones Roku makes only hold so much appeal when compared to a truly multi-purpose device like the Xbox 360 (to say nothing of the seemingly media-centric Xbox One) or a hot-seller like the Apple TV (which has outsold Roku’s boxes by more than 2 to 1), so Roku’s attempt to move up the stack directly into televisions could give the company a leg-up as the amount of hardware competition continues to grow.…

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How set-top boxes like Roku and Apple TV have changed TV forever (Original)

Not long ago, analysts were predicting OTT set-top boxes would be a flash in the pan, but now they've changed their tune. Media streamers like Roku and Apple TV are seeing a lot of action and have, in fact, changed the way we watch TV for good.…

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BSkyB makes fresh investment in Roku (Original)

BSkyB has made a further US$1.9 million (€1.4 million) investment in over-the-top set-top provider and platform operator Roku.

Sky made an initial investment in Roku in July 2012 and is continuing to provide financing for Roku’s operations and activities. The initial investment gave Sky the option to rebrand and distribute versions of Roku’s devices in the future. Sky launched its Now TV service on Roku boxes at the end of last year.

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Geek deals: 3M Roku streaming projector, Galaxy Tab 2 tablet, more (Original)

3M SPR1000 Streaming Projector with Roku
The last couple years has seen the integration of internet connectivity into nearly every piece of technology imaginable. From TVs to cars to refrigerators, nearly anything can be connected to the web today……

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Streaming Set-Top Maker Roku Hires Former Logitech Exec Erik Bardman As Its New CFO (Original)

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Streaming set-top box manufacturer Roku has hired a new CFO today, bringing in an executive who had cut his teeth at Logitech and eBay. Erik Bardman, former SVP of Finance and CFO of Logitech International, is joining the company as it seeks to expand globally and also work out more deals with cable and satellite providers.

Bardman has been a part of Logitech since 2009, and plans to leave the peripheral hardware manufacturer at the end of this month. He’s also served as a board member for Trulia, a seat he’s planning to continue holding while at Roku. Prior to his Logitech days, Bardman spent six years at eBay, where he served as CFO for eBay Marketplaces. And before that, he was at GE, in a variety of roles.

The new CFO joins Roku as the seeking to expand not just its product line, but also its availability around the globe. Last summer, Roku raised $45 million in funding from a bunch of strategic investors, including News Corp, British Sky Broadcasting, and Dish. Since then, it’s been working to make a wider variety of cable and satellite TV content available through its streaming set-top boxes.

It’s also working to expand and improve its product line.…

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Roku sells 5 million media streamers, celebrates milestone with revealing infographic (Original)

To celebrate its recent sales milestone, Roku released some revealing numbers via an entertaining graphic that show just how enthusiastic the US has gotten over streaming media.…

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Animal Planet critter livestreams arrive on Samsung Smart TVs, coming to Roku and Xbox Live (Original)

Animal Planet critter livestreams arrive on Samsung Smart TVs, coming to Roku and Xbox Live

Say goodbye to the passé virtual aquarium. Animal Planet has launched a collection of 11 HD 24/7 Ustream-powered live streams under the banner Animal Planet L!VE, which feature animals ranging from beluga whales to cockroaches. The free critter footage is already being piped to APL.tv and Samsung Smart TVs Viewers can choose between watching ants, calves, chicks, cockroaches, beluga whales, fish swimming about in a pacific coral reef, kittens, penguins, puppies, sea nettles and wild birds. In case catching them on your smart TV or browser weren't enough, the cable channel's creature casts are coming to Roku and Xbox Live "in the coming months."

Filed under: Home Entertainment, HD, Samsung

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Via: Ubergizmo

Source: Bites @ Animal Planet

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Roku 3 review: our favorite media streamer, and the simplest to use, too (Original)

Roku 3 review: our favorite media streamer, and the simplest to use, too

Roku's media streamers have carved out a notable niche for themselves, with what started out as a Netflix box, but quickly grew to include hundreds of other entertainment options. Whatever they've lacked in style, they've always made up for with an easy-to-navigate menu and remote, not to mention low prices. In fact, they've become our default recommendation in the media streamer category, and now the company is back with its third iteration.

Its approach hasn't changed: the Roku 3 is still a simple $99 box that brings internet content including video, some simple apps and even games to your TV. But this one is touted as the most powerful Roku ever, and the team behind it has even dared to tweak that boring, but simple menu system. There have always been some rough edges that needed polishing, along with holes in its offerings -- join us to see if it's good enough to be the best.

Gallery: Roku 3 review

Filed under: Home Entertainment, HD

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Set-top showdown: Apple TV vs. Roku 3 vs. Boxee Box vs. WD TV Play vs. Google TV (Original)

Trying to figure out which set-top box to buy in order to kick off a cord-cutting lifestyle? Check out our 2013 breakdown of the five most popular streaming set-top box platforms:…

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